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> Is FW mostly a better workflow tool?
It's partly a matter of opinion, and what you are used to will also be a big factor, but yes, I think most of here would agree that we much prefer the FW workflow for web design(this is the Fireworks forum after all!).
> Can't I just as easliy use only Illy, PS and DW to get the job done?
How easy something is depends on two things: how easy the tool is to use, and how good you are with the tool. If you're already good with PS and Illy, you might not see an immediate advantage to Fireworks. I would say, however, that Fireworks is an easier tool in general. For one thing, Fireworks combines(for web design) most of what you would use Photoshop(bitmap tools - great for art work and photo manipulation), Illustrator(vector tools - great for layout), ImageReady(slicing, optimizing, exporting, animation, etc), and to some extent InDesign(multiple page source files, master pages, share common elements across pages), all in one app -- that makes life a lot easier for me! It doesn't have all the tools of all those apps, not even nearly, but it combines the core toolset of each which makes for one very flexible environment to work in.
If you or anyone on your team are planning on attending MAX this year, there will be some really good sessions on how FW fits in, since Adobe has been getting that question a lot by old users -- old ImageReady users, and PS/AI users in general who have noticed FW more now that Adobe owns it and has kept around in full force.
Oh, here's a good article on what Fireworks is all about:
But in the end, it always comes down to trying the different apps out and see which one fits your needs and preferences best.
It's my primary graphics tool for web and screen graphics. I wouldn't
want to be without it.
Jim Babbage - .:Community MX:. & .:Adobe Community Expert:.
Extending Knowledge, Daily
CommunityMX - Free Resources:
.:Adobe Community Expert for Fireworks:.
>> Can't I just as easliy use only Illy, PS and DW to get the job
> How easy something is depends on two things: how easy the tool is to
> use, and how good you are with the tool. If you're already good with
> PS and Illy, you might not see an immediate advantage to Fireworks.
I came to Fireworks (v2.0 at the time) from PS and Illy myself and I saw
an immediate advantage even then. With CS3, the workflow advantage of
using Fireworks is even more compelling. Fireworks has always been a
true vector/raster hybrid application which already streamlines the
creative visual part of designing a site. Fireworks has also always had
the advantage when it cam to slicing and optimisation of graphics as
well as adding interactivity because everything can be done right on the
canvas without the need to go through a "Save for Web" dialog or using a
3rd app (ImageReady). Slice manipulation is far superior in FW than they
are in PS and Illy or what it was in IR.
Now, the CS3 version adds pages and rapid prototyping tools that make
Fireworks even more powerful. You can now keep a whole site with as many
page layouts as you want (home, interior, etc) in one file. You can even
export interactive HTML prototypes of app/page flow to demonstrate how a
site will work to clients. None of that is possible in PS or Illy.
Lastly, everything in Fireworks is optimized for the Web. The way that
all the tools are tied together with that Web centric focus is also what
makes it so efficient.
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> I came to Fireworks (v2.0 at the time) from PS and Illy myself and I saw
> an immediate advantage even then.
Yes, I should also mention that I came from a background of Photoshop and FreeHand and saw an immediate advantage in Fireworks(within the first 30 minutes, if I recall) as well. I'd also say the majority of the people I've introduced Fireworks to were sold pretty much immediately, after I showed them a few of the particularly nice features, like Live Effects, One step Slicing, Pages, etc. However, I've known a few real Photoshop masters who haven't been motivated to learn Fireworks. I don't push them, because when it comes down to it they are fast and amazing with the tool they use, as much as it baffles me how they manage it -- that's their thing, I guess. Bottom line is give it a shot, no ones forcing you to use one workflow over another, but I wouldn't be surprised if you find using Fireworks to be the most flexible, steamlined, and "creatively free" workflow currently available for web design.
> Pages, etc. However, I've known a few real Photoshop masters who
> haven't been motivated to learn Fireworks.
Yeah, I've seen those too. They're usually the kind of people who would
design business cards or even logos in Photoshop and cannot get out of
the bitmap/raster mindset. Some of them would have difficulty working in
Illustrator, FreeHand or InDesign which are definitely all much more
suitable to actual design and layout work of any kind.
> I don't push them, because when it comes down to it they are fast and
> amazing with the tool they use, as much as it baffles me how they
> manage it -- that's their thing, I guess.
I guess, but the thing is, personally, I consider Photoshop to be a
terrible *deign* and *layout* tool for any output because of its
inflexible raster based workflow. I don't understand people who design
anything in Photoshop when any vector app would be faster, more flexible
with a lot less throwaway effort and would not be tied to any specific
resolution (much better for repurposing to different media and outputs).
Photoshop's name itself is a givaway of what it does best, editing
> Bottom line is give it a shot, no ones forcing you to use one
> workflow over another, but I wouldn't be surprised if you find using
> Fireworks to be the most flexible, steamlined, and "free" workflow
> currently available for web design.
Indeed, but a lot of that is tied to its core vector toolset. This is
the crux of the matter to me here. When I talk of "throwaway effort" and
"inflexible raster workflow" as well as the concept of "precision" I
talk about in my "Why Choose Fireworks" article I'm talking about basic
design and layout workflow tasks that are awkward at best in any bitmap
based application, not just Photoshop.
Take the very basic task of creating a filled rectangle with a small
stroke for example. That rectangle may be used as a background to a
column of text. In a vector based app like FW, Illy, FH or ID, it's a
simple matter of drawing the rectangle with the basic rectangle tool
then change object properties like corner roundness in FW and FH or
using live corner effects in Illy and ID for example. If you need to
resize it, just select and enter a new number in the P.I./Object
In Photoshop, there is no concept of an "object" with properties. If the
rectangle you've draw has the wrong corner roundness, you have to delete
it and start over because, there is no corner roundness property to
change. That's what I men by throwaway effort. If you need to resize it,
it will distort the rounded corners, even if it's a Smart Object so
again, you have to delete and redo. It's a waste of time IMO. If you
need to resize it to precise numbers or even find out the exact size of
an object, you cannot simply select it and enter a new number or read
the new dimension. That capability is not immediately available and you
have to go through several other steps to get there. In any vector app,
all these things are quick and immediately available without going
through dialogs or extra steps.
Manipulating raw pixels is really not the ideal way to create or edit a
layout, any kind of layout. What's great about Fireworks is that you can
do all of it from within one application...
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